Archive for June 2017

Call the Midwife Part 2

June 26, 2017

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I'm back for Part 2 of call the midwife! If you are just tuning in, be sure to read Part 1 here. Spoiler alert, I had such an amazing experience using a midwife for my prenatal care and Annabelle's birth! I wish I would have seen a midwife with my first two babies!

In response to a comment on Part 1, my mom and I want to quickly distinguish the difference  between a Certified Nurse Midwive (CNM) and a lay midwife. We recommend that women considering midwifery care choose a CNM and encourage all women to ask questions of potential care providers, both doctors and midwives prior to making their decision. Topics you may want to discuss include the provider's cesarean delivery rate, episiotomy rate, and practice and philosophy related to activity during labor, pain relief measures, fetal heart rate monitoring, oxytocin use for stimulation labor, immediate skin-to-skin contact following birth, and breastfeeding. Discussion about the birth location and the ability to respond to an emergency is also important. Obstetricians, anesthesiologists, and neonatologists may be immediately available in large medical centers and teaching hospitals but not so in smaller community hospitals. Researching your options will help you make the best decision for the birth of your baby.

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So, now let's discuss my experience with a CNM.

I loved the doctor I was seeing when I was pregnant with Hudson, my first child. He was kind, supportive, and listened to me. I ended up having a c-section due to Hudson being breech...and he was nothing but amazing. He ended up leaving the practice shortly after Hudson was born, so when it was time to have Sadie I switched to one of his partners. I had a VBAC with Sadie (you can read all about it here) and had an amazing experience. My doctor stayed with me the entire time I pushed and was just so great.

So...why did I switch to a midwife? When it was time for baby #3, I learned that my doctor's office changed their on call policy. Previously, your doctor would deliver you if you went in to labor during office hours. Outside of office hours you would get the doctor on call. I was very lucky with Sadie that I was in labor all night and my doctor came in the next day to deliver me. The new policy was that only the doctor on call would deliver your baby....and they had like 12 doctors in the practice. To me, that seemed like way too many doctors with zero chance of me getting to know all of them. So, after talking it over with my mom who is a Clinical Nurse Specialist specializing in labor and delivery (lucky me right?) we decided I should switch to a doctor she knew really well who worked with three midwives. It turned out he also is the husband of the doctor I used to see for general care before having babies. He had told my mom on several occasions how happy his patients were with the midwives in his practice. He even said the midwives did a better job than him!

Having a relationship with my caregiver was something that was really important to me, especially after having a VBAC and realizing how much I depended on my doctor to coach me through the process. I felt like I trusted him...which is huge when you are in such a vulnerable position....literally.

I was a little nervous about seeing a midwife at first. Would she push me to have a natural birth? Would she know what to do in an emergency situation? What if my uterus ruptured? (a risk when you have a VBAC). SO MANY QUESTIONS. So I decided to go in for an appointment to see how I felt. But before I could even get to that appointment I had some bleeding. I didn't experience any bleeding while pregnant the first two times, so of course I panicked. It was on a Sunday morning (of course) and Jon was scheduled to fly to Chicago that afternoon for work and was going to be gone for a few days. Talk about the worst timing ever. I decided to call the office and left a message on their weekend voicemail. A few minutes later, Sarah, one of the midwives, called me and she was so re-assuring. I hadn't even met her yet but she really calmed me down. She told me to call her the next day (Monday) if the bleeding hadn't stopped and I could come in. Thankfully the bleeding was short lived and had stopped that afternoon. But on Monday a nurse called me to check in....and offered to let me come in anyway just to check things out (which I did, and everything was fine!). Right then I knew I was at the right place.

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Seeing a midwife was a lot like seeing a doctor. You have the same appointments, same tests, and go over the same information. It was just done in a much more relaxed and comfortable way! Midwives are clinically trained professionals that can do almost all of the same things a doctor can do. They can prescribe medication, perform exams, and deliver your baby. The only thing they cannot do is perform surgery (i.e. a c-section). The midwives I saw worked closely with a medical doctor. So I saw the midwives for all of my pre-natal care  and would see one of them for labor and delivery (except for one visit was with the doctor so that I could meet him!). If I needed a c-section or there was an emergency then the doctor would be paged to come in and take over. My main concern was since I was having a VBAC I was at risk (a VERY small risk) for rupturing my uterus. Learning that a doctor would be able to assist at a moment's notice really helped calm my nerves.

All of my appointments were in the doctor's office, but instead of in an exam room I met in the midwives' office....so I just sat on a couch and we would chat about the baby, my other two kids, whatever! The midwife would weigh me, take my blood pressure, and do any other tests needed. It just all felt so much more personal this way! The midwives (I primarily saw just two of them) would take their time with me, so I never felt rushed...and they really listened to me. Now, since this was my third baby, I didn't have that many questions....but I can see how a first time mom would really LOVE this attention and care!

So let's chat about the actual delivery, shall we? You can read Annabelle's birth story here: part 1 and part 2. What was different for me this time around was that my midwife, Sarah, met me at the hospital when I was in labor. Usually a doctor just shows up when it's time to push, so this totally blew me away! I remember I was in a wheelchair and so uncomfortable that I had to get out of it and walk....Jon was parking the car so Sarah carried my bag and walked with me. She helped me take off my boots and get in to my hospital gown (well....Jon first tried and he couldn't figure it out, ha!). She checked to see if I was dilated and inserted my IV. She did it all! She also ordered my epidural (midwives are very epidural friendly....they just want to do what is best for you and the experience you want to have!). I remember Sarah walked with us up to the labor room and stopped in the hall along the way when I would have a contraction. She was just amazing. Midwives are trained nurses...so their approach is just so different from a doctor. They really want to care for you and help you in any way that they can. Sarah was with us all night (she would leave to take breaks here and there) but she was so present.

Now, if you've read Annabelle's birth story then you know that I had a really bad periurethral tear that would not stop bleeding. It got so bad that Sarah had to page my doctor (at 2am!). Luckily he lives right by the hospital and was there within minutes. However, another doctor on call in the hospital   actually beat him to the scene. When you have a VBAC, a doctor who is able to perform a C-section must be immediately available in case of emergency.  The hospital where I delivered has at least one doctor present in the hospital at all times.....so even if my doctor wouldn't have made it in, someone would have been there to take over.

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The final thing that was different for me with seeing a CNM was the postpartum care. With my first two babies I had follow up appointments with my doctor 6 weeks after birth. They did an exam, gave me a script for birth control, and I was on my way. However, this time it was so different! Sarah offered to see me 3 weeks postpartum if I wanted to, (I declined) and then saw me at 6 weeks...during which she spent an hour with me discussing and processing the birth! She held and loved on Annabelle during the appointment. We talked about my scary tear, and she remembered Every. Single. Detail. We talked a little about how I didn't have that euphoric feeling after the birth that I had with Sadie....and how I was frustrated being tied down with all the monitors after the birth. It was very therapeutic for me to talk about the birth with someone who was there! Sarah even shed a few tears during our conversation! She was really invested in me and was sad to hear how frustrated I was....but was happy to hear that my recovery had been great.  I've NEVER had that type of relationship with a caregiver. Ever. I opened up to her and admitted (probably for the first time) that I was feeling a little depressed. I was mostly feeling unmotivated to do anything but sit in my house and love on my baby. I didn't really feel that way after Hudson or Sadie, but I knew my feelings were normal. Sarah throughly assessed me for post part depression,  discussed taking some "me time", and let me know that my feelings were validated. She knew that Annabelle was our last baby, and helped me see that some of my feelings were related to knowing it was the "last" time I would ever do this.

We also discussed breastfeeding and Sarah offered to check/help with latch if needed. Annabelle is a breastfeeding champ and this isn't my first time so I didn't need her to...but man, that would have been SO nice when I was a new mom! Any additional support is always good in my book. Finally, we discussed postpartum sex....which I have NEVER really talked to a doctor about. Obviously I know the drill, but if this would have been my first baby it would have been so nice to hear that I was normal, if you know what I mean. All around it was just a more comfortable, safe space for me.

 I know there are amazing doctors out there. And amazing midwifes. It is important that you do what is best for YOU and your baby. Just know that you have options, do your research, and select a caregiver that is best for YOU. I loved having a midwife for my care and would highly recommend it (in fact, I loved it so much that I have referred three of my friends!). If you have any questions please leave them in the comments or send me an email at thegirlintheredshoes @gmail


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Boating Must Haves

June 25, 2017



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A few years ago my mom bought a cute little lake house up north. We love going up there and enjoying how peaceful it is by the water! It's great to have a place escape every now and then. As soon as she bought the house Jon could NOT WAIT to buy a boat. He was chomping at the bit to get out on the water!

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 It's only about an hour drive for us, so we like to get up there whenever we can! Hudson has been going up with us since he was only a few weeks old....how cute is this photo of him? I'm dying. 

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That first summer we bought a speed boat (Jon was thrilled!) and spent several weekends cruising out on the water! Michigan is so beautiful in the summer and out on a boat is the place to be! 

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It's so gorgeous out on the water! We just love it. 

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Wrigley likes to get in on the fun too! How cute is he in his life jacket? I can't get over it. 

Are you going out on a boat this summer? Here are some of the things we always bring with us:

- a life jacket for everyone on board, even the dog! This is a MUST, especially if you are going tubing or skiing!
- sunscreen
- extra towels
- cooler filled with drinks and water
- snacks
- a floating keychain for your boat key
- sunglasses
- water shoes
- waterproof bag for phones
- bluetooth speaker

One time Jon jumped in the water with his car key in his pocket. Thankfully it didn't come drop out and get lost in the water! Ever since then we have put the boat key and car keys on a floating key ring. You don't want to lose those!

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I think Jon loves being out on a boat the most! He's already talking about what boat we'll get next once the kids are a little older......we can't wait to take them out on the lake and go tubing! It's like a mini vacation right outside our door. 

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I'm pretty sure I'll teach them a thing or two about how to hang on tight while daddy drives! Ha. 

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Whether you own a boat or you’re just interested in ways to get on the water, Discover Boating has resources to help you get on the water and have a vacation at your fingertips.

Visit Discover Boating and to sign up for their monthly newsletter that offers tips and tools to help jumpstart your boating adventure.


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Puppy Dog Pals Snack Mix

June 22, 2017

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This post is brought to you by Disney Junior.

Disney Junior Puppy Dog Pals

There’s officially a new favorite show in town….Puppy Dog Pals on Disney Junior! My kids usually watch one or two episodes in the morning when they first get up, and both of them are in love with this show!

Disney Junior Puppy Dog Pals

Puppy Dog Pals is about Bingo and Rolly, two puppies who have fun traveling around their neighborhood and abroad when their owner Bob leaves home. Both of my kids love watching the fun adventures of Bingo and Rolly…and I love that it’s cute and educational!

Disney Junior Puppy Dog Pals

These pups definitely put the YAY in our FRiYAY!

Disney Junior Puppy Dog Pals

Disney Junior has all new episodes every FRiYAY morning on Disney Channel. To celebrate one of our favorite shows, we decided to whip up some Puppy Dog Pals snack mix!

Disney Junior Puppy Dog Pals

It’s super easy to make! Sadie had fun getting in on the action…and sneaking a bite or two here and there. I love making simple snack mixes with my kids. They always have so much fun helping and I have fun watching them get creative with me in the kitchen!

Disney Junior Puppy Dog Pals
Disney Junior Puppy Dog Pals

To make your own Puppy Dog Pals snack mix you’ll need:
- Chex cereal
- Marshmallows
- Mini chocolate chips
- Mini cookies

Disney Junior Puppy Dog Pals

The recipe is easy…just mix everything together in a bowl and enjoy!

Disney Junior Puppy Dog Pals

This little pup is ready for action….or snuggling on the couch with her snack…whichever!

Disney Junior Puppy Dog Pals

We’ll be making this recipe again for the premier of Puppy Dog Pals on Friday, June 23rd @ 9am on the Disney Channel! We love watching the morning block of Disney Junior shows on the Disney Channel and can’t wait to watch the new episodes of all of our favorites!

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Thanks to Disney Junior for sponsoring this post!

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Call the Midwife!

June 21, 2017

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Many of you have expressed interest in my choice to have a midwife deliver my last baby and have questions and misconceptions about midwives. The number one question I got from people when I told them I was seeing a midwife was "are you having a home birth?" (NO), followed by "can you have an epidural?" (YES). So today I want to address some of your questions, and to start I have a guest post writer....my mom! She is a Clinical Nurse Specialist (which means she has a Master's Degree in Nursing) with more than 35 years of OB/GYN experience and she offered to provide some background information about midwives. I plan to share my personal experience with a midwife on Monday, so be sure to come back for more! If you have any questions please drop them in the comments of this post or email me at thegirlintheredshoes@gmail and I'll be sure to answer them for you!

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So now, I'm going to let my mom explain a little more about midwives!

Midwives are are excellent providers of health care services for women. Many people think of a midwife only as someone who assists women choosing to have a home birth. While some midwives do participate in home births, the majority do not. Many women do not understand the services midwives provide or the advantages of seeking care from a midwife. One area of confusion is the difference between a midwife and a doula. A midwife is a licensed and certified medical professional who provides total care for you during the prenatal period and the birth of your baby. A doula is not licensed or trained to provide clinical care. A doula is trained to be a support person and to advocate for you while you are in labor and during the birth process and the postpartum period. They DO NOT provide nursing care, medical treatment or deliver your baby. 

In the United States, the majority of midwives are Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM) working in coordination with doctors providing care to women in clinics and hospitals. Greater than 95% of births attended by midwives occur in hospitals.

A CNM is a Registered Nurse with graduate education (Master's Degree) in midwifery. CNMs are trained to provide women's health care from puberty through menopause. They provide a level of care that is more personal and focused on the whole woman. Compared to doctors, midwives are likely to be less formal, to spend more time with you, and to provide education and support specific to your concerns. If you choose a midwife to provide care during your pregnancy, your midwife will work with you to identify the childbirth experience YOU desire and to provide the care and support you need to achieve your desired birth experience. Midwives approach pregnancy, labor and birth as normal processes and do not routinely use medical procedures if there is no clear need for them. The midwifery model of care is strongly supported by current research.

The American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) is the professional organization that has developed guidelines for safe childbirth based on scientific knowledge, coordination of care between health team members and active involvement of women and their families. Visit the ACNM website for more information about midwives.

My experience with a midwife coming your way on Monday, so stay tuned! 


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How I'm a Genius in the Kitchen with Gobble

June 8, 2017

Gobble

Confession: I'm not that great in the kitchen. I'm okay if I have a recipe to follow...but I've never been that amazing at creating new recipes for my family. Now that we are a family of FIVE, it's even harder. Finding the time to make a well-balanced, delicious meal is one of the most challenging parts of my day. Especially because once it's 4:00 the little humans in my house turn crazy. It's just a battle to survive until Jon gets home. So making dinner? Forget about it. When Belle was first born we were blessed by so many friends who brought us dinner. It was a life saver. And my mom was and is a huge help to me too. But some nights it's just me....and a hungry family to feed. 

Gobble

That's why I was SO excited to learn about Gobble! Gobble delivers fresh, quick, one-pan dinners that anyone can cook in less than 15 minutes, providing busy families with a home-cooked meal plus more free time to relax at the end of their day. Sounds amazing right? This was our first time trying this kind of service....and let me say this wholeheartedly: It was awesome. 

Gobble
Gobble’s weekly menus are tailored to each customer’s individual preferences and tastes. You simply let them know what you like, and what you don't like, which is great when you have picky eaters like I do. Visit their website and view the weekly dinner options and choose a preferred delivery day. Then everything you need to make your meals arrives at your door!

Gobble

Hudson thought this was so cool and loved helping me unpack our box. Everything inside was cool and fresh thanks to the special box and ice packs.

Gobble

All of the meals have a 3 step process with detailed instructions. Plus, the meals can all be made in 15 minutes, which is a HUGE game changer when you are a busy mom! The first meal I made was country captain chicken curry with coconut rice. The included instruction card made it so easy!

Gobble

All of the meals need just one pan, which I love. Less dishes for me!

Gobble

Hudson got in on the cooking action. He loved helping me put everything together. 

Gobble

When Jon got home for dinner the first thing he asked was "who brought this over?"....so of course I proudly told him that I made it! Myself! The first few bites in the said "this is good. This is SO good!" After the third or fourth "so good!" comment he asked "what is this service called?". Ha. It really was yummy. 

Gobble

 I have difficulty menu planning and finding time to go to the grocery store. I love that Gobble takes the stress out of meal planning and making dinner for me! The second meal I made was blackened prime sirloin steak with mashed potatoes and baby carrots. I was a little nervous about getting this one right...but it turned out amazing and was so much easier than I thought!

Gobble

This meal was my absolute favorite! It was so good...I'm still dreaming about the chipotle butter on top of the steak. After eating this meal I was kicking myself that we didn't have company over to show it off. I couldn't believe I made something SO delicious...and so pretty on the plate!

Gobble

The final Gobble meal I made was salsa verde spinach enchiladas with corn and black bean rice. 

Gobble

This was Sadie's favorite! She loved the corn and black bean rice and cherry tomatoes. It was delicious!

Want to try Gobble for yourself? I’m offering my readers a special discount code off their first Gobble box! While Gobble is currently only available on the West coast, Gobble is expanding nationally this summer 2017. Look out for Gobble boxes shipping to you soon! West Coast readers can visit Gobble and input the code MOM50 at checkout for 50% off your first six Gobble meals.

To learn more about Gobble, visit them on their website or social media channels:

Compensation was provided by Gobble via Momtrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Gobble or Momtrends.

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Cozy Summer Fun

June 1, 2017

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It's officially summer vacation around these parts and we are working on creating our summer bucket list. Since we have a new baby it's hard to get out and about to do a lot of your typical summer activities. So we have to get creative! Luckily both of the older two LOVE to stay home more than anything...they are homebodies just like their mama!

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What's been a special treat for us is to have movie dates and book reading marathons. Both kids think it's so fun to pop some popcorn and cuddle up under their new favorite sherpa blankets from Mouse + Magpie

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We also love to pick out a ton of books and snuggle up and read them all together. I love watching their little imaginations soar. I'm so thankful they both love to "read" books...I'm hoping that's something that will continue!  

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I also love to 
encourage Hudson to make up his own stories...he thinks it's so fun and I love watching him explore his creativity and curiosity. 

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Of course they have to burn some energy too. Crazies. 

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Both kids have been enjoying their Mouse + Magpie sherpa blankets and matching throw pillows. Mouse + Magpie is a child-inspired, adult curated collection of home furnishings and products exclusively designed by artists and illustrators.

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Mouse + Magpie was created specifically for little people with big imaginations. Their design community is made up of international artists intent on putting imagination into the minds of children and easy-to-implement designs into the hands of adults. LOVE that!

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Hudson and Sadie love snuggling up with these blankets! They are soft and cuddly and so well made. We just love them! 

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Mouse + Magpie also has a beautiful collection of art and canvas prints, lamps, and clocks...all that coordinate and are beyond adorable! We love our sherpa blankets so much that I'm giving one away on Instagram today, so be sure to check it out! 

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You can discover more about Mouse + Magpie and their collections here

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*Mouse + Magpie partners with bloggers such as me to help promote their new bedroom collection. As part of the program, I received products or payment. Mouse + Magpie believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Mouse + Magpie provided me with information on messaging concepts, but did not tell me what to purchase or what to write in my blog or what to say about the products I used.

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